Candy Dance filling up |

Candy Dance filling up

by Kurt Hildebrand

Genoa’s Candy Dance is open for business, and if the cars lining Jacks Valley Road are any indication, well on its way to attracting 30,000 people to Nevada’s first settlement.

“We’ve been blessed by great weather,” Genoa Town Board Member Dave Whitgob said. “Everyone is working hard. The vendors are ready to go. We’ve set the table and now we’re waiting for a good crowd.”

The parking lot at the Genoa Cemetery filled up in the first hour this morning for the 90th annual Candy Dance.

Cars lined both sides of Jacks Valley Road from the cemetery to Genoa Lakes Drive.

Visitors to the craft fair celebrating Nevada’s first settlement should take Genoa Lane to the larger parking lot, where shuttles are waiting to take them to the center of town.

Officials closed the town at 7 a.m., shortly after the first shoppers started to arrive.

Temperatures are still cool in Genoa running in the upper 60s under sunny skies, but are predicted to climb into the upper 80s today.

Visitors wishing to avoid the $5 parking fee, or a long walk into town, can pick up a shuttle at the Carson Valley Inn or Douglas High School in Minden for $2.

The Candy Dance festival is the main fundraiser to support the town. Most of the money comes from the rentals of about 300 booths which occupy Mormon Station State Historic Park.

Copper River Creations vendor Jack Borges of Pioneer, Calif., said this is his third year at the fair.

He said the fair has been profitable for him, but that the location along Main Street is the best one he’s had.

Veteran kettle corn hawker Ron Buder of Sacramento has been a regular for 16 years, doing his first Candy Dance in 1995.

He’s worked his way from in front of Mormon Station to the corner of Main and Nixon streets.

Carson City sisters Linda Allen and Kathy Ensminger brought their cousin Debbie Morris down to Candy Dance for some shopping.

It was Morris’ first trip to Candy Dance.

“They said ‘you have to fly in’ for this,'” she said. The sisters are experienced hands at Candy Dance shopping.

“We’ve brought our shopping carts, you can tell we know what we’re doing,” Allen said.

Morris was using her grandmother’s shopping cart.

“It’s like we brought grandma along,” she said.

A group of women wearing purple T-shirts with the years they’d attended Candy Dance on the back were organized by Carson resident Maryann Andrews.

They said they came every year as a group to shop and socialize.

Genoa residents Alice and Rex Cleary were enjoying a stroll down Main Street and the music from a performer out in front of the Town Hall.

“The music was a good idea,” Alice Cleary said.

The musician also marks where people can find the candy that gives the event its name. A store was set up inside the town hall where a ton and a half of fudge and other sweets are being sold.

Sheridan resident Stan Guldin was sitting with his six-ton engine in the Trimmer ranch orchard as the star of the antique tractor show.

Guldin is the president of the Northern Nevada Antique Tractor Club.